Buying camping supplies can be relatively inexpensive and easily kept within a budget provided that you are willing to do a bit of research and spend some time comparison shopping for the best possible deals. For those that are just getting starting in acquiring camping supplies and gear, a great idea is to stick with the basics, then gradually get the specialty items as you become more familiar with what you will require with regards to camping needs.
It is always important to keep in mind that the fewer camping supplies you need to pack, clean, sort and pack in and out of your camping area the better off you will be. If you are camping in a travel trailer or tent trailer you have more storage room and additional space than those using tents and hiking into campsites will have, so you can be more liberal in choosing camping supplies.
Most camping gear and equipment should serve more than one purpose to make it practical. For example, to save space consider packing pots and dishes that stack into one another and just taking the minimum number of cooking and eating supplies rather than taking a wide variety. Disposable plates and cups are often a great idea but be sure to get the paper variety that can easily be burned. Plastic is not environmentally friendly but can still be used provided it is disposed of in garbage bins at the campsite or carried out of the area to be disposed of at a later time.
Camping supplies should always be non-breakable if at all possible. Plastic plates and glasses are much lighter to carry, plus can be packed much more securely than glass or ceramic. There are many different camping utensils in all varieties of material, from durable enamel coated to unbreakable, heavy plastic. In addition remember to pack at least one durable flashlight with extra batteries, a transistor type radio and a cell phone. Typically many areas, especially those in the wilderness, may not have a signal, so don’t rely on a cell phone for communication.
A very important, and often forgotten, item for camping supplies is a first aid kit. The kit should include many different sizes of bandages, tweezers, scissors, possibly a needle and thread, tensor bandages, gauze, antibacterial lotions and wipes as well as burn treatment and anti-itch creams to help treat insect bites and poison ivy and oak contact. The first aid kit should be small enough to pack comfortably but must have all the items that could help in the case of an accident or injury. Pain medications, bee sting kits and other prescription medications may also be included if necessary.
Buying camping supplies at off-season sales, looking around at garage sales, shopping online and even visits to your local dollar store are all ways to find new or even slightly used camping materials at very low costs. Spending a bit of time on the computer can really save money, as well as going around to different stores at the end of the camping season to pick up those great off-season deals on camping supplies.